This year, the Queens Centers for Progress (QCP) is returning to an in-person celebration after presenting last year’s festivities via Zoom amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
For one night, hundreds of people will come together at Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadows Corona Park on Tuesday, March 15, for the 26th annual “Evening of Fine Food” presented by QCP. The event, which is both in-person and virtual, will raise funds to support the longtime organization’s programs and services, assisting more than 1,200 individuals with developmental disabilities to lead more independent lives.
“For more than 70 years, QCP has been helping adults and children to live their best lives,” said QCP Executive Director Terri Ross. “Core to our mission is the belief that all people can learn and that everyone — in spite of any developmental disability — can make meaningful choices about their lives.”
Wendy Gennaro, Queens Centers for Progress’ director of development, said that the organization is excited to come together in person for the event.
“The support from our sponsors has been overwhelming and this is proving to be a record-breaking year. We are extremely grateful to our extraordinary board of directors, our many generous restaurants, our sponsors and everyone who is ready to get out and have a good time for a great cause,” Gennaro said.
The event’s festivities will include a gourmet dining experience featuring culinary delicacies from the finest restaurants and beverage purveyors in the area. As guests mingle, sample gourmet foods and enjoy an open bar, they also can enjoy the comedy stylings of Suzanne Windland, magician Apollo Riego, the voice of Jim Altamore performing as Frank Sinatra and the sounds of DJ Mike Kouros of Bravo Sound. Guests can participate in the silent auction and take selfies in a Le Selfie photo booth.
The benefit will honor two “Chefs of the Year” — people who have made an impact and a difference in the community: Rhonda Binda, vice president of government affairs and social impact at Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corporation, and Thomas Rudzewick, president and CEO of Maspeth Federal Savings. In addition to being honored, the pair will cook and serve a surprise family specialty.
Queens Centers for Progress will also present the Claire Shulman Spirit of Community Award to Drew Kerr, founder of the Queens Chef Project, for spotlighting the culinary community amid the pandemic.
This year’s fundraiser boasts a robust group of sponsors, including Grubhub, a leading global food delivery marketplace. QCP will also provide families faced with food insecurity with gift cards so they can order dinner through Grubhub and enjoy the show virtually.
For sponsorship opportunities or more information, contact Wendy Phaff at 718-380-3000, ext. 325, or email WPhaff@queenscp.org
Tickets for Queens Centers for Progress’ 2022 “Evening of Fine Food” are $135 per person. The event is presented from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Guests are asked to RSVP by March 13. Tickets and further details are available here.